At a time when Uganda rarely sends field event participants to the big competitions, it was a public secret that there was little expected from Lucy Aber at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Morocco.
But the 30-year-old nearly stole the headlines when she finished fifth overall in the women’s javelin final at the Stade de Marrakech on Wednesday night.
Amid unbearable temperatures, Aber’s hopes would have faded away after she failed to register a score from her first two attempts. She then threw her spear 34.95m, 37.36m, 39.37m and got 45.50m on her final attempt.
But the latter distance was still not enough to put her in the medal bracket. First, she was bettered by Benin’s Pascaline Adanhoegbe (45.84m) who finished fourth.
The event was won by Africa record holder South African Sunette Viljoen who set a new competition record of 65.32m. Ghanaian Mary Zuta (52.57m) and Mauritius’ Selma Jessika (48.04m) took respective silver and bronze medals.
On track, Ugandan sprinter Maureen Banura improved on her time with 24.67 but she finished fourth in heat two of the women’s 200m semifinals.
Banura did not advance but her heat was won by 2013 World silver medalist Ivorian Murielle Ahouré who progressed to yesterday’s final in 23.39 alongside Nigerian Regina George (23.60).
AFRICA SENIOR ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS – RESULTS
WOMEN’S JAVELIN FINAL
1 Sunette Viljoen (RSA) 65.32m
2 Mary Zuta (GHA) 52.57m
3 Selma Jessika (MRI) 48.04m
4 Pascaline Adanhoegbe (BEN) 45.84m
5 Lucy Aber (UGA) 45.50m
6 Shura Jilo (ETH) 40.58m
WOMEN’S 200M SEMIFINAL – HEAT 2
1 Muriel Ahoure (CIV) 23.39
2 Regina George (NGR) 23.60
3 Natacha Akamabi (CGO) 24.06
4 Maureen Banura (UGA) 24.67
5 Loungo Matlhanku (BOT) 24.70
6 Valerie Hounkpeto (BEN) 24.78
7 Neima Suraj (ETH) 25.16